DNR Invites Data Submissions for Biennial Water Quality Assessment
For the City Times
Lake associations, public health departments, conservation groups, academic researchers and citizen scientists are being encouraged to submit data and observations for inclusion in a biennial assessment of Wisconsin’s waters by the Department of Natural Resources.
Wisconsin is assessing water quality on a higher percentage of its surface waters than in past assessment efforts and support from a variety of collaborators helps make this possible, said Aaron Larson, DNR impaired waters coordinator in the bureau of water quality. Larson said DNR started a statewide randomized monitoring program in 2010 to gain a deeper understanding of the biological condition of wade-able streams across the state and allow improved evaluations of statewide water quality trends.
“Overall, water quality in the state is improving in many ways due to efforts resulting from the Clean Water Act, Wisconsin’s priority watershed program and new approaches for controlling water pollution,” said Brian Weigel, DNR section chief for water quality assessment. “Phosphorus, ammonia and suspended sediment concentrations have decreased and past implementation efforts have reduced phosphorus from Wisconsin watersheds to the Mississippi River by about 23 percent and to Lake Michigan by about 27 percent.”
Waters that do not meet standards are placed on DNR’s impaired list, which is used to track lakes, rivers and streams that need restoration and assess progress. States are required to develop pollution reduction plans, known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs), for each impaired water body and pollutant combination on the impaired waters list.
To submit data for the Clean Water Act Integrated Report 2016, search the DNR website, dnr.wi.gov, for keywords “surface water” and click on the button for Aassessments or email [email protected]. The website provides instruction on formats for submitting the data, which typically includes fish and invertebrate information, water temperature, dissolved oxygen, and pollutant concentrations. The deadline for submissions is Jan. 15, 2015.